Novak Djokovic had to dig deep against Quentin Halys in the Adelaide second round. A 21-time Major winner scored a 7-6, 7-6 triumph in an hour and 55 minutes for a place in the final eight. Djokovic trailed 5-2 in the opening set before pulling a break back at the last moment to prolong the battle.
As many times before, the Serb stayed composed in the decisive moments to emerge at the top and remain on the title course. Halys saved two match points at 4-5 in the second set, fighting like a lion and earning praise from Novak.
The Serb described the rival’s performance as a top-10 one, with powerful serves and an aggressive approach. Djokovic missed a routine volley in the encounter’s second game and got broken after the rival’s backhand down the line return winner for an early setback.
Novak created two break chances with a forehand down the line winner in game three. Quentin saved the first with a smash winner and denied the second with a volley winner at the net to keep his serve intact.
Novak Djokovic prevailed over Quentin Halys in Adelaide.
Novak held in the fourth game with a forehand winner before Quentin fired a service winner in the next one to move 4-1 up.
Halys served well again at 4-2 to maintain the lead and move closer to the opener. Finding the rhythm, Djokovic secured the eighth game with a forehand winner and pushed strong on the return. Novak broke at love in game nine to extend the action and gain a massive boost.
They served well in the remaining games to introduce a tie break. Novak raced into a 5-0 advantage with three mini-breaks and seized the third set point at 6-3. Djokovic served well in the second set and kept the pressure on the other side.
Halys served to stay in the match at 4-5 and faced problems. Quentin denied a couple of match points and held with an ace to lock the result at 5-5. Novak closed the 11th game from 30-0 down, and Quentin held at love a few minutes later to introduce the second tie break.
Halys opened a 4-3 gap with a booming serve, and Novak grabbed the next point with a volley winner at the net. A forehand winner sent the Serb 5-4 up, and the Frenchman stayed neck and neck. Novak grabbed a decisive mini-break in the 11th point and seized the third match point at 6-5 with a forced error to seal the deal and avoid a decider.
“It was a great performance from my opponent today; I want to congratulate him for a great fight. He played like a top-10 opponent. He served big, hitting his spots. On a fast court like this, it’s tough to break, so two tie-breaks is a realistic score in today’s match. I’m glad to overcome the challenge,” Novak Djokovic said.